Monday, September 20, 2010

"Every Family Has It's Dysfunction..."

Yeah, but the mentality of my mom's family is back in the turn-of-the last century. Seriously.

I don't live life relying on horoscopes, but one in particular (which always seems to have an antecdote to think about) said that with regards to my family, something may have to be torn down in order to be re-built properly. That's basic spiritual thought; most of us have constructed our lives based on false assumptions, and sometimes outright lies. It may not be totally our fault, but if you find that life is not working out the way you would like, and you yearn for better, you might actually have to tear down some constructs in order to create better ones.

That is happening in my family right now.

My generation has known for years that my mom's generation has some issues. The women all despise my grandmother for some reason, I thought for a moment that they were going to actually examine this, but in light of recent events, I see that is not going to happen. It has gotten so bad that they are abusing my elderly grandmother. They do really well with getting her to her doctor's appointments, but when it comes to the emotional quality of her life, they suck.

They refuse to let her go to church, or even to Wal-mart. My aunt, whom my grandmother lives with refuses to put a chair lift in so my grandmother can get up and down the stairs, because she doesn't want to "ruin her decor". So my grandmother crawls backwards down about 30 steps each day to get to the main level. There are no full baths on the main level, so she would either have to sleep in the basement or on the top floor, but all in all that 8,000 square foot house is not handicap accessible. And that's going to have to change, because it was this particular aunt who swore that my grandmother (and her baby sister who has her own set of insecurities and issues) belonged with her. Well, fast forward 6 years or so, and everyone is burned out and my grandmother is a "problem". They don't even have a legitimate home health aide in there who can assist my grandmother properly, it's my rich aunt's personal assistant. I tell you, all of this is going to change.

The real problem is that no one is listening to my grandmother. They're all so angry about their childhoods...which took place 50 years ago! They talk to Grandma like she's a child...or worse, they call her outside her name. They tell her to her face that they don't care what she wants or wishes, and accuse each other of taking Grandma's money while they do it themselves. All the while insisting that the nieces and nephews respect and revere them...and ignore the pasts of child abuse, deliberate lack of education (and insistence on lack of education for their kids), and drug use. It's time for the madness to stop, I say!

Well it's all definitly coming to a stop, because I called the authorities on them. My cousin and I have each filed separate complaints with the county Adult Protective Services division. And we'll be going to get my grandmother on Thursday so she can spend the week away from that gilded prison (and go to church, the one thing that brings her joy)...and unfortunately we'll have to go with police escort. My wealthy and snobbish aunt complains that no one comes to see her mother, but she doesn't realize that we're all tired of being treated like puppies on a white carpet. Don't touch this, don't chip that. I tell her every chance I can that her material things do not impress me.

I wrote a plea to my mother and the two aunts who can actually turn on a computer and asked them to seek counseling or mediation as sisters, so they could address the emotional issues they have with my grandmother, and ultimately treat her better than they have been. Typical behavior continues, blaming everyone but onesself, refusing to seek help. My wealthy aunt and the youngest aunt decided to insult my intelligence by telling me that I'm lying about things people have born witness to. So I let them both have it. The family is shocked, once again I'm crazy (sometimes I wish I had never said I was in therapy, if they hadn't have heard that, they probably wouldn't be calling me that). But I'm not the one abusing my elderly mother.

When I was a child, before I could even read, I asked my mother for my birth certificate. I swore up and down I was adopted. I still feel that way, honestly. These people do not act the way I feel a family should act. And I'm ultimately tired of it. I'm tired of being seen as wrong because I want to do what's right. I'm tired of the fickle behavior, you agree with me to my face and then you go back and agree with someone else to their face.

This is going to get ugly, but I hope that out of all of this, some healing can come. My grandmother may have made some mistakes, but she's an old woman now. None of the women in my mom's family who have kids want their children to abandon or abuse them, so they need to think about that when they do things that hurt and dismay their mother.

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